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It seems ages since I wrote on here. In fact, it IS ages, but I have the perfect excuse – I’ve been too busy writing. And here’s what I’ve been doing:
POPPY, published at the beginning of May, is the story of a girl who falls in
love with a young officer who’s going out to fight in the Great War
(1914-18). Poppy decides she wants to do her bit for the war effort too,
and after volunteering to be a Red Cross nurse, she’s sent to work in Netley
Hospital, the huge (once real) hospital in Southampton where they received
war-stricken casualties from the terrible fighting in France. I’ve just had my
first review of POPPY from the lovely bookshop, TALES ON MOON LANE,
who said it was “wonderfully evocative”. They also said they couldn’t wait
to read the second part - which I’m still writing – in which Poppy travels to
France to be closer to the action. This second book will be called
POPPY IN THE FIELD and will be published in 2015.
Whilst researching POPPY, I discovered lots of fascinating stories about
people, and one incident in particular led to my writing a story in an
anthology called WAR GIRLS, published in June 2014. Lots of big-name
writers have contributed to this, including Adele Geras and
Melvyn Burgess, and I was very pleased to be asked. After all
the agonies that POPPY goes through, it was nice to do
something pertinent to the War but a bit more light-hearted.
And there’s another book coming! This one is for Barrington
Stoke and is a spin-off from AT THE SIGN OF THE
SUGARED PLUM about the Great Plague (1665). I’ve chosen to
write the story from the point of view of Hannah’s best friend,
Abby. It’s a shorter book, but I loved being back in the
Seventeenth Century with its buboes, death carts, plague cures
and Searchers of the Dead. It’s got a lovely cover which gives
no mention of all these grim and gruesome happenings and is
published in August 2014.
In between all this excitement I’m very happy to be going first to Chipping Norton Festival in April and, in August, to Edinburgh, where I’ll be sharing a stage with the brilliant Teresa Breslin. Do come and see me, or get in touch.
Love from Mary Hooper xxxx